Adobe announces “third wave” marketing cloud

At Adobe Summit 2016, held for the first time in Las Vegas as it outgrows its original Salt Lake City base, Adobe this week announced several enhancements to its marketing cloud offering. Describing the “third wave” Adobe marketing cloud in a pre-summit briefing, Director of Product Marketing Kevin Lindsay emphasized that Adobe was now in the “experience business.” It’s not about digital marketing, he said, but about “marketing in a digital world” and providing “a complete, end-to-end personal experience for customers.”

Adobe made three key announcements: the launch of Next Gen Marketing Cloud; a Cross Device Coop initiative; and some enhancements related to TV advertising.

Next Gen Marketing Cloud

The marketing cloud is still structured around eight key solutions. The question, said Lindsay, was: “How do we create value and facilitate a level of integration of all these personas involved in digital?” Changes to help the “human marketer” lean more heavily on “data, machine learning and algorithms” include:

  • Smart tags: predictive, non-manual tagging of Creative Cloud assets.
  • Virtual analyst: for marketers with limited analytics capabilities, this automates the surfacing of actionable insights.
  • Improved segmenting in Adobe Target.
  • Lifetime Value–an ability to track the customer journey across multiple devices and channels; especially useful for optimizing the path to non-impulsive purchases.
  • Ad Insights: an automated deeper analysis of attribution and ROI, generating “leadership-friendly reporting.”
  • Predictive subject lines: recommendations for email subjects based on behavioral analytics (in Adobe Campaign).

Cross Device Coop

“Device don’t buy products, people do,” said Asa Whillock, Principle Product Manager. There remains the challenge of targeting the right devices at the right frequency; creating richer segments across devices; and qualifying more devices by associating them accurately with customers.

In the past, said Whillock, cross device identification had relied primarily on log ins and probability analysis. Log in data is highly reliable, but limited. Probability analysis is less certain. By creating a co-operative cross device environment, Adobe will invite marketing cloud customers to boost probability results by sharing data.

This doesn’t mean, he emphasized, that small brands will reap the rewards of big brand traffic. Fair value means brands only receiving data about devices they’ve already seen. The data will be anonymized, attributing a series of devices only to an “unknown” individual. Consumers will only be giving up data, therefore, to brands in which they’ve expressed an interest. They’ll also be able to opt out by visiting privacy policy centers, although it was less clear how they would know to do so. This solution will roll out in the second half of 2016.

TV Adobe

Adobe also announced strategies aimed at helping marketers cope with the multi-screen, multi-platform, on demand TV world, where users are ever more accustomed to just skipping ads. Partnering with comScore, Adobe Certified Metrics will better measure viewing behavior across devices. A Prime Time OTT solution within the marketing cloud will help to acquire, engage and monetize viewers.

In the pre-briefing, Adobe revealed that the marketing cloud was now dealing with 5.1 trillion rich media requests for yuear, and for the first time, around half the transactions were coming from mobile. It expects more than 10,000 attendees at Summit this week.

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